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Book Jackets

Brandon Sanderson & Patrick Rothfuss Write Dueling Inscriptions

Fantasy novelist Patrick Rothfuss posted photographs of dueling author inscriptions on his Facebook today, sparring playfully with Wheel of Time series co-author Brandon Sanderson.

In one reader’s copy of The Wise Man’s Fear, Rothfuss took a crack at a book written by Sanderson: ” more majestic than Way of Kings.” Sanderson wrote a funny comeback in a copy of The Way of Kings: “1000% less sex with random goddesses than Wise Man’s Fear.”

Rothfuss surrendered after this inscription, writing “Well played, Sanderson…. Well played….” on Facebook this morning. (Link via elquesogrande)

‘The Bell Jar’ Cover Inspires Online Parodies

When the UK publisher Faber released the cover art for a 50th anniversary edition of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, online critics attacked the controversial cover image.

Below, we’ve collected parody book covers inspired by the updated cover, including A Hunger Games-themed cover, go-go dancers and clowns. What is your favorite?

The London Review of Books wrote about the controversy:

The first edition of The Bell Jar to appear under Sylvia Plath’s name was published by Faber in 1967, with a cover designed by Shirley Tucker. This month Faber have brought out a 50th anniversary edition of the novel (it was first published by Heinemann in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas), with a cover about as far from Tucker’s Bridget Rileyish concentric circles as you can get: a stock photo from the 1950s of a woman with a powder compact. As Dustin Kurtz, a marketing manager at Melville House, tweeted, “How is this cover anything but a ‘f*** you’ to women everywhere?”

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Fahrenheit 451 Cover Design Contest Winner Revealed

Matthew Owen has won the  Fahrenheit 451 cover design contest from Simon & Schuster and the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The winning cover (embedded above) was revealed at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Owen, who hails from Little Rock, AR, created a cover that beat out more than 360 submissions. Both the Simon & Schuster staff and the Bradbury estate participated in judging the entries.

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How a Fantasy Book Cover Gets Made

On his blog, artist Michael Whelan revealed how he painted the cover for A Memory of Light.

The blog article shares sketches, color tests and materials he used to create the action-packed cover. Darrell Sweet, the original cover artist for the series, passed away, so Whelan took over for the concluding cover of the epic series.

Here’s more from Whelan’s blog: “I digitized all the existing cave and figure visualizations I had accumulated. In Photoshop, I played around with combining them in ways that might work. On my studio laptop, I set up a slideshow of the more appealing approaches and painted the figures selected into the backgrounds I had chosen. These I sent to Irene Gallo at TOR books for selection as a cover approach. Some were more highly developed than others—I learned long ago that the powers that choose such things tend to favor more finished concepts than looser ones—so naturally I tended to favor the concepts I was most interested in developing into a full scale painting.”

Authors Pose in Gender-Flipped Sexy Science Fiction Cover

To raise money for the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, a team of five novelists posed for a gender-flipped posed copy of a sexy science fiction cover.

You can bid on an autographed copy of the photograph at eBay. Photographer Al Bogdan shot the picture, imitating the cover of Young Flandry by Poul Anderson. The io9 blog has more about the history behind the pin-up photograph.

Check it out: “This is one of only two 16″ x 16″ high-quality prints, and has been autographed by John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jim C. Hines, Patrick Rothfuss, and Charles Stross, as well as photographer Al Bogdan. This would be a GORGEOUS piece to frame and hang over your couch, in your bedroom, or even in your office at work. You’ll be the envy of everyone you meet! Best of all, every penny raised from this auction will go to the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, supporting the girls and families fighting this condition and helping to fund research into the cause and, some day, a cure.”

Hooded Man Haunts Book Covers

Novelist Mazarkis Williams spotted a hooded man on four different fantasy covers and is offering a “bounty” for readers who can spot more examples in the bookstore.

Last week, the writer promised “a prize of arguably huge value” to anyone who can find the hooded man lurking on other book covers. He also offered “a prize of immeasurably less value” to any reader who can find five covers reusing another image.

Here’s more from the author: “Who is this masked hooded man? Where will he turn up next? Where else has he been already? Putting to one side the issue of this stock-character-of-easy-virtue I hope that the fact four such varied and fine (though I say it myself) novels lurk behind his menace is a fact that puts fresh shine on the well-worn directive never to judge a book by its cover.”

Neil Gaiman Reveals Cover for New Novel

Novelist Neil Gaiman revealed the covers for two upcoming books on Tumblr.

We’ve included the cover image poster for The Ocean at the End of the Lane above. Below, we’ve included links to free posters you can download for your computer.

The author also showed the Chip Kidd-designed cover for Make Good Art, a book version of the commencement address that Gaiman delivered last year.

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What If Classic Novels Had 8-Bit Covers?

Over at Slacktory, artist Oliver Miller has created 8-bit covers for famous books, turning classic novels into pixel-paintings that look like video games from the 1980s.

We’ve embedded Miller’s cover for J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Two Towers above, what do you think about his computerized take on the fantasy novel? The image above built upon Wizard by Radpants at Make Pixel Art and Towers by Mildtoast at Make Pixel Art. If you like his 8-bit art, Miller also illustrated the first lines of some famous short stories.

Here’s more from the artist: “I selected the novels above, not as a list of the Greatest Novels of All Time, or as a list of My Favorite Novels of All Time, but because they were (mostly) books that I love whose covers I knew how to illustrate. Full confession: I have not read An American Tragedy, and I think that Theodore Dreiser is a boring writer. I just liked the title. And I started reading Moby-Dick (“Call me Ishmael”) and Gravity’s Rainbow (“A screaming comes across the sky”) but I did not finish reading them. Someday I will finish reading them. I read all the others.” (Via Rachel Fershleiser)

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How to Use a Book Cover as a Shield

What book would you carry during a march? For the last few years, activists have created book cover shields to use for protests.

As you can see by the photo embedded above, these “Book Blocs” make a striking image during a protest. The Occupy Wall Street Library will host a workshop on July 29th, showing readers and activists how to use these tools.  Here’s more about the class:

Perhaps the most striking example of such deployment of books has been the Book Bloc—phalanxes of protesters hoisting large shields against lines of riot police, each emblazoned with the cover of a book. Book Blocs first appeared in Italy in 2010, and since then they have made their way to London, Spain, California, New York and beyond.  For this workshop, we will supply the materials and instructions to make our own book shields. Members of Occupy CUNY and librarians from the People’s Library will be on hand to talk about the history of the Book Bloc and spark conversation about the tactical and symbolic uses of books. Participants are encouraged to drop in for the workshop anytime between 2-5pm.

How to Make a Talking Book Cover

The first issue of X-O Manowar featured a talking comic book cover (video embedded above).

With a smartphone and QR codes, the comic book company actually made the main character speak through the comic cover in a short video. Do you think more authors should experiment with this cover technology? The comic was written by The Surrogates author Robert Venditti with art by Eisner Award-winning Conan artist Cary Nord.

Here’s more about the comic: “Born into battle, Aric of Dacia — heir to the throne of the Visigoth people — has never known peace. After a brutal encounter with a mysterious enemy known as The Vine leaves him a prisoner on an alien world, the only hope Aric has of returning to his family and saving them from slavery is to seize a weapon of incalculable destruction and become X-O Manowar!?

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